For the second straight year, the Alabama Crimson Tide will enter the season as AP’s top program receiving 54 of the 63 votes for first place. With a revenge tour in mind, and many starters returning it is no question why the Tide was ranked first this year. Alabama arguably fields the best offensive and defensive players in the nation, with Bryce Young and Will Anderson Jr.
Ranked second is Ohio State, then the Georgia Bulldogs, whom the Tide lost to in the National Championship game this past year. Fourth place is Clemson, then Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Utah, Michigan, Oklahoma and Baylor to round out the top 10.
Why The Crimson Tide Ranked First
Throughout head coach Nick Saban’s career, the Tide have entered the season as the preseason No.1 team nine times. Since the preseason rankings began in 1950, Oklahoma is the only team to field more No.1 teams heading into the season with 10.
After Saban recently called the 2021 season “a rebuilding year” for Alabama, it goes to show what type of mentality the team will have entering the 2022 campaign. Although the claim was disputed by many, it is safe to say that Saban has a point. When Alabama doesn’t win a championship it can feel like a rebuilding year, since they have won six in the last 13 years.
Any team that returns a Heisman winner will be considered a threat, and since Young threw for 47 touchdowns and 4,872 yards in his first year starting it is likely he will do better in 2022. There are several other reasons to be excited about the offense as Saban and company have brought in four exciting transfers set to start and make a difference on the field.
On the defensive side of the ball, Alabama will field only two players under the junior classification, Kool-Aid McKinstry and Dallas Turner, two naturally gifted players who are set to have breakout seasons. Leading the defense will be Will Anderson Jr. and Henry To’o To’o who both had phenomenal seasons last year combining for 212 total tackles and 21 sacks.
The Rest Of The Top 25 Poll
Between 11 and 20, Oregon starts the list, then Oklahoma State, NC State, USC, Michigan State, Miami, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, Arkansas and Kentucky. The last four are Ole Miss, Cincinnati, Houston and BYU. AP Top 25’s Twitter page posted a video unveiling the full rankings.
The Southeastern Conference has the most teams ranked with six. The second highest is the Atlantic Coast Conference with five and the Big Ten with four. The Crimson Tide is currently set to face three preseason top 25 teams. These teams are Arkansas ranked 19th on October 1, Texas A&M ranked sixth on October 8 and Ole Miss ranked 21st on November 12, 2022.
Other teams on Alabama’s schedule that could reach into the top 25 by the time they play include Texas, Tennessee and Louisiana State. In the end, these preseason titles mean nothing as only 11 teams since 1950 have started and finished the season at the top spot. Alabama has done it only twice, once under Saban in 2017 and the other in 1978 under the late Paul “Bear” Bryant.